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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
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NYC Lawmaker Laurie Cumbo Presses Miami to Find Rabbi Raksin’s Murderer

The Crown Heights NYC Council Member is keeping the pressure on Florida to make sure Florida law enforcement officials do not abandon her constituents.
North Miami Beach Police shield.

North Miami Beach Police shield.
Photo Credit: Government of Florida, NMB

On the 23rd anniversary of a race riot that saw mobs calling for ‘Death to the Jews!’ a gentile Crown Heights NYC Council Member stepped up pressuring Florida authorities to hunt down the murderer of a Chassidic Jewish resident attacked Aug. 9 while visiting the state.

City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo sent a letter to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez on Aug. 19, urging him step up his efforts to find the murderer of Rabbi Joseph Raksin.

“This tragedy has left New Yorkers devastated and in disbelief that such a senseless crime could be committed on the Sabbath,” Cumbo wrote.

“While the circumstances surrounding his final hours remain unclear, elected officials and interfaith leaders throughout New York City have joined together to send a message that we will not stand nor tolerate the targeting of individuals because of their religious beliefs or faith. Individuals who engage in such acts must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law…

“On behalf of the Crown Heights community, the Jewish Caucus, and the Raksin family, we urge you and the Miami-Dade Police Department to continue to prioritize this investigation and to utilize all available resources to resolve this case. We hope that you will look upon our offices and New York City as a partner in this effort.”

The rabbi was a well-known member of the Crown Heights Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish community, was murdered while walking to synagogue in North Miami Beach.

No arrests have been made in the case. Police have yet to label the determine the murder a ‘hate crime,’ though the area is heavily Jewish and locals know that Jews carry no money or valuables during the Sabbath.

Local members of the American Jewish Committee told the Miami Herald that just two weeks before the murder, on July 28, a swastika and ‘Hamas’ were scrawled on the synagogue towards which Raksin was walking.

A member of the North Miami Beach ‘Shmira Patrol’ – a local neighborhood watch group – said a woman returned home after Raksin’s funeral in Miami to find a swastika scratched into her car. Miami-Dade police confirmed the report.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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